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    #1

    hyphen

    He has been less-than-impressive in his first season with the Raptors.

    I'd like to know why there are hyphens between "less" and "than" and between "than" and "impressive." Would it be correct to leave them out?

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: hyphen

    I see no need for them.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: hyphen

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    He has been less-than-impressive in his first season with the Raptors.

    I'd like to know why there are hyphens between "less" and "than" and between "than" and "impressive." Would it be correct to leave them out?

    Thanks.
    There is no need for them at all in that sentence.

    "He has been less than impressive in his first season........" is fine.

    If you wanted to use the phrase as a single adjective, some people might hyphenate it:

    He has been a "less-than-impressive" addition to the Raptors this season.

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    #4

    Re: hyphen

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    There is no need for them at all in that sentence.

    "He has been less than impressive in his first season........" is fine.

    If you wanted to use the phrase as a single adjective, some people might hyphenate it:

    He has been a "less-than-impressive" addition to the Raptors this season.
    It's not a sentence I wrote; I read it on this site: NBA.com: Making playoffs would be win-win for Raptors, Turkoglu

    I had never seen hyphens used like that, which is why I started this thread.

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    #5

    Re: hyphen

    I would say the editor wasn't paying enough attention.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #6

    Re: hyphen

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    He has been less-than-impressive in his first season with the Raptors.

    I'd like to know why there are hyphens between "less" and "than" and between "than" and "impressive." Would it be correct to leave them out?

    Thanks.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER !!!!!

    Good afternoon, Jasmin.

    (1) Yes, all the books say to use hyphens only when necessary.

    (2) Clearly, hyphens are not needed in that sentence.

    (3) Nevertheless, the books also admit that hyphens are often a personal choice.

    (4) I read the link that you gave us and discovered an important point:

    That sentence is a cutline (caption) under a photograph.

    (5) I want to defend the writer of that cutline:

    (a) Yes, the hyphens were not necessary. BUT:

    (b) In a cutline, you want something that is terse and punchy.

    (c) We also have to remember it's about sports.

    (d) Maybe (of course, I don't know), the writer thought it would be cruel to write "He has been unimpressive in his first season."

    (e) Maybe the writer tried to think of a word that is between "impressive" and "unimpressive," but s/he could not think of such a word. So s/he made up a one-word adjective by linking those three words together: less-than-impressive. A unit.

    (f) I think it's a much punchier cutline as "He has been less-than-impressive in his first season" than simply "He has been less than impressive in his first season," which is too slow and too separated for the dramatic effect needed for a cutline.



    Have a nice day!

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